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Paul Reynolds, a 2012 second team All-American, is the Bruins' leading scorer returning in 2013.
Men's Water Polo Opens 2013 Season with UCLA Invitational on Sept. 7
By: UCLA Athletics

The UCLA men's water polo team will host the UCLA Invitational at Spieker Aquatics Center on Saturday, Sept. 7 and then head to the final day of the Triton Invitational at UC San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 8. The Bruins will open their 2013 season with two regular-season matches and two exhibition contests on Sept. 7.

Under the tutelage of fifth-year head coach Adam Wright, UCLA will open the one-day round-robin tournament with the invitational's first match. The Bruins will face UC Santa Barbara at 8 a.m. in an exhibition match. The Bruins return to the pool three more times on Saturday. UCLA will play Pepperdine in an exhibition contest at 10:30 a.m., prior to officially opening the season with Pomona-Pitzer at 11:45 a.m. The Bruins will then take a break and return to the pool for a 6:00 p.m. non-conference bout with Claremon-Mudd-Scripps (full schedule of the Invitational is below).

The Bruins, which are preseason ranked No. 2 by the ACWPC, will then head to UC San Diego for the second day of the Triton Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 8. UCLA will open with Cal Lutheran at 1:00 p.m. and will then face the hosts, UC San Diego, at 4:30 p.m. The Bruins will then take on No. 1 USC in an exhibition match at 6:00 p.m.

The UCLA Invitational will feature free admission to all of the games on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to park in Lot 11, slightly north of Spieker Aquatics Center at the intersection of De Neve Drive and Bellagio Drive. Parking costs $12 for the whole day.

The Bruins return four starters in 2013, including junior attacker Paul Reynolds, who finished third on the team in scoring with 44 goals (1.33 gpg) last season, which ranked 22nd in the MPSF. Reynolds was a second team All-MPSF and All-American selection in 2012. He also ranked second on the team in assists (46) and steals (35) last year.

The Bruins also retain the services of honorable mention All-American, Chris Wendt. A senior defender, Wendt was sixth on the team in scoring with 34 goals (1.10 gpg). On the year, he drew 22 exclusions and was second on the team in field blocks with 22. He also registered 19 steals and 16 assists a year ago. He led the team in shooting percentage, scoring 54.8 percent of his shots (34-of-62).

Another senior, utility Aimone Barabino, returns for his final season in 2013. Last year, he was named to the All-MPSF Tournament Team and was chosen as an honorable mention All-MPSF selection after scoring 29 goals and tallying a team-best 64 earned exclusions. He was third on the team in shooting percentage, scoring 53.7 percent of his shots (29-of-54).

The Bruins have plenty of experience returning this season as well. Sophomore utility Danny McClintick returns after his stellar freshman campaign where he finished fourth on the team in scoring with 37 goals (1.12 gpg) while making 18 starts. He was third on the squad in field blocks (15) and also registered 18 assists and 13 steals.

Senior Lucas Reynolds provides the Bruins some scoring punch at center, finishing sixth on the team last year in scoring with 33 goals (1.06 gpg). He was also third on the team in exclusions drawn (36) and led the team with six drawn penalty shots.

A shoulder injury sidelined redshirt junior Cristiano Mirarchi last year, but he returns to the lineup in 2013. A two-time All-American and a two-time All-MPSF selection, Mirarchi has scored 45 career goals at UCLA while making a total of 27 starts.

Senior attacker Paul Pickell rounds out the Bruins' four-man senior class. He brings a wealth of experience with 67 games played and 25 career goals.

The junior class features a pair of sharp-shooters returning in 2013. Attackers Daniel Lenhart (32 games played/16 starts/32 goals) and Chris Fahlsing (33 games played/four starts/27 goals) are poised to have a big year. Christopher Meinhold provides UCLA plenty of depth at attacker. He played in 22 games last year, scoring six goals.

The Bruins also return the services of sophomore defender Anthony Daboub. He played in 27 games and made nine starts last year as a true freshman. He also registered 18 steals, 15 assists and 11 goals in 2012.

While the Bruins lost All-American goalkeeper Matt Rapacz to graduation, three experienced keepers are ready to fill his shoes. Redshirt freshman Garrett Danner, redshirt junior James Hartshorne and junior Stephen White will all be vying for playing time.

Danner led Team USA to a pair of fifth-place finishes this summer at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia and at the 2013 FINA Junior World Championships in Szombathely, Hungary. He finished as the World University Games’ leading goalkeeper in saves with 90 (11.3 spg), while his save percentage of 59.6 (stopped 90-of-151 opponent shots), led all 12 starting goalkeepers in the tournament. He also led all goalies in steals with 15 (1.9 spg).

Hartshorne played in 11 games in 2011 after redshirting last year. He compiled a stellar 3.02 goals against average while recording 36 saves during the 2011 season, allowing just 10 goals in 13.25 quarters of action.

White was the Bruins' reserve goalie last year, making 16 appearances and three starts. He had a 6.62 goals against average and registered 70 saves in 33.25 quarters played. 

The UCLA Bruins will have a total of 11 freshmen suiting up in 2013. Six of them are redshirts and the other five are true freshmen. In addition to Danner vying for the starting spot in the cage, five other redshirt freshmen are competing for time in the water. Attackers Cody Moore and Erik Najarian, centers Alec Zwaneveld and Patrick Woepse and defender Rainer Sherwood all are assigned cap numbers and are ready to get their chance to show what they can do.

Additionally, the are five true freshmen with caps that will be fighting for playing time. All five are a strong mix of international and southern California players with lots of international experience. Attackers Lovre Milos (Zagreb, Croatia), Ryder Roberts (Vista, Calif.) and Jack Fellner (Orinda, Calif.) join center Gordon Marshall (Newcastle, Australia) and defender Chancellor Ramirez (Pasadena, Calif.) as UCLA newcomers ready to make an immediate impact.

2013 UCLA Invitational Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 7

Time Designated Visiting Team Designated Home Team Type of Match
8:00 a.m. UC Santa Barbara UCLA Exhibition
9:15 a.m. UC Santa Barbara Pepperdine Exhibition
10:30 a.m. Pepperdine UCLA Exhibition
11:45 a.m. Pomona-Pitzer UCLA Regular season
1:00 p.m. La Verne UC Santa Barbara Regular season
2:15 p.m. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Pepperdine Regular season
3:30 p.m. Pomona-Pitzer UC Santa Barbara Regular season
4:45 p.m. La Verne Pepperdine Regular season
6:00 p.m. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps UCLA Regular season
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